Open now . . .
Located in the foothills of Noon, just west of Philomath, Oregon, the R.A.W. PostLibrary presents a platform for collaborative material and conceptual exchanges and resistances to grow and disperse, dissolve and transform. Among many other barbed questions, the PostLibrary asks “What comes after the book?” Through collaboration among RAW inhabitants and a local and trans-oceanic pulping posse, and with new attention given to local weathers and watersheds in time, the PostLibrary has continued opening slowly in pandemic times, through diverse contributions of flora and fauna, human movers and diggers, friends and strangers, and exchanges virtual and material.
The PostLibrary is literally a library on a fence-post, designed and built by Sean Hart and K-Haw mostly out of materials found around the R.A.W. during early lockdown in early April 2020. But it is also a conceptual proposition that questions how we might practice unexpected forms of exchange and co-composition amidst all the different inhabitants of places, whether mammalian or microbial or otherwise.
First opening in association with Eugene Contemporary Art and ANTI-AESTHETIC’s Common Ground, curated by Agnese Cebere, the R.A.W. PostLibrary began as an ecological LivingArtResearch performance-residency, exploring the hyperlocal/hyperglobal ecologies of staying-at-home, whatever “home” might mean. The remote-residency site for Common Ground, which ran from April to October 2020, featured digital posts from the PostLibrary’s home pastures and forests. With traditional libraries closed, the R.A.W. PostLibrary began proposing to open new kinds of exploratory space for porous storytelling and knowledge-making exchanges—beyond the book-bound anthropocentric and bibliometric modes and industrial forest product supply chains we take for granted.
Unlike other libraries, the R.A.W. PostLibrary does not hold volumes of consumable fiction, information, or answers. Instead, it proposes to energetically resist them, leaving its purposes largely in question. The PLG thus reflects Curt Cloninger’s practical advice in Some Ways of Making Nothing: “Construct your art apparatus in such a way that it may propose, invite, entice, invoke, and lure new audiences and epochs into being” (122).
Developed through a 2021-2022 CFAR Project Incubator fellowship with the University of Oregon’s Center for Art Research and Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, the R.A.W. PostLibrary Generator (PLG) is a site-specific system that powers the PostLibrary in new ways, engaging with compost methods and seasonal creekflow. Designed to hold hot R.A.W. manure compost in contact with a local flow of cold water, the PLG system generates a small amount of voltage through a special thermoelectric compost-generator device created with UO Technical Sciences Administration and Knight Campus engineers Geordi Helmick and Clifford Dax.
When the PLG thermoelectric device is assembled and placed into the hot compost pile, a flow through the watershed gravity-feeds a cold source through the PLG device directly from the up-slope Pulping Pond; this creates a temp. differential with compost heat and generates voltage through the thermoelectric Seebeck effect. The system stores energy with a battery unit and offers power to the PostLibrary via USB port. Meanwhile, the PLG system as a whole is designed to rely on unpredictable weathers, temps, microbial action, methods, and flows–and to be present with its own technological and conceptual failures and uncertainties. In March 2022, while the device was still in the fabrication stage, a warm and dry spell caused the outflow from the pond to cease; with April precipitation the flow returned (if temporarily) in time to test the device in a hot pile, one gorgeous evening in early May. Many technical and conceptual questions remain as part of this system’s continuing development: What will provide the cold source for the PLG system when the creek ceases to flow later this spring? What new experiments, exchanges, and differentials might the PLG give energy to? Just some of many questions the PostLibrary holds. Open.
Stay tuned for more.